Theatre review: Billy The Girl, Soho Theatre

billy the girl

We are persistently told that the key objective of criminal justice is to prompt offenders to reform, in readiness for a return to homes where they previously were unable to properly function. But what if that home has changed too? These are the issues explored by Katie Hims’ new play, Billy The Girl, a touching and poignant exploration of how life post-prison rarely works out according to the best laid plans of the authorities. Continue reading

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Album Review: Arcade Fire – Reflektor

arcade-fire-cover-1380292406Arcade Fire – Reflektor
(Merge Records)

Make no mistake, Reflektor – this dense, detailed record of sprawling length, statement two disk formatting and weighty references to Greek tragedy – is Arcade Fire’s attempt at a masterpiece. It’s a pursuit of the standards met by those epic double albums of the 1960s and 1970s, records which absorbed and enthralled, were adventurous in their arrangements and momentous in their subject matter. It’s built to be memorable. Continue reading

Album Review: Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind

Four-Tet-Beautiful-Rewind

Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind
(Text Records)

Kieran Hebden, better known as Four Tet, is a restless and prolific creator, but must surely also be the embodiment of the controlling label boss’ worst nightmare. In August he gave away his Late Night Tales mix for free, after the series decided to release a remaster of the album without consulting him first. Then there was his Rinse FM session last week, a show that clocked in at the length of a full conventional working day: eight hours of sprawling, enthralling radio which sonically shifted between funky house and jungle, thumping tape techno and elegant bits of Middle Eastern pop (no doubt influenced by his recent production of Omar Souleyman’s Wenu Wenu). It even nonchalantly featured a thrilling rough diamond in the shape of an unreleased Burial collaboration. It was a typically blasé Four Tet moment: Hebden’s offhand accompanying comment, “I hope someone’s recording this for YouTube,” is as far as this rare groove will ever get to an official release. Continue reading